I met Sandro Calvani in Milan on February 18, 2023, where we were both speaking at a conference. I listened to his speech on the possible reform of the United Nations. Taking my cue from that talk, which I found extremely interesting, I decided to interview Calvani for the readers of La Civiltà Cattolica. Calvani has had an extensive career as a senior United Nations official, living and working in 135 countries around the world, in particular in his role at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Among the many assignments he received were as regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, director of the UN’s anti-drug and anti-crime program, based in Bangkok, with responsibility for 31 countries in the region; and then he was director of the same program in Colombia.
In 2007 he was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as director of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. From September 2010 to June 2013 he was executive director of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center of Excellence on the Millennium Development Goals. He has written some 30 books on his experiences among the world’s poorest. He is a lecturer in Human Rights and Sustainable Development Policy at various Asian universities.